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I was reading about F-35's version that can take of vertically and it's mentioned that they are using a patented technology by Rolls-Royce called Fanlift and Liftsystem which brings me the questions:

Do other countries have to be partnered with Rolls-Royce to develop such technology (exact one)?

What if Rolls-Royce doesn't want to partner with them?

Isn't this a way of saying: "Here is a way to kill you but you can not kill us back?"

I do not have deep knowledge of patents and how they operate, would be glad to be explained.

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  • $\begingroup$ Since these patents are only effect on the friendly, not the enemy, I would consider it quite immoral, e.g. US would ask UK, "why are you OK when Russia copied your ideas but not me?" I mean, when two countries are at war, should they sue each other on patent infringement first or on property damage or murder? $\endgroup$ – user3528438 Nov 19 '19 at 7:01
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    $\begingroup$ "how moral" calls for an opinion based answer $\endgroup$ – Manu H Nov 19 '19 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ Patents are designed to make it worth investing in large R&D projects by granting exclusive rights for a few years. If you knew your design would be copied and you wouldn't make any money from it, it wouldn't be worth developing. They're limited to around 20 years so everyone gets to share it eventually, and the company has an incentive to develop something even better. $\endgroup$ – Robin Bennett Nov 19 '19 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @RobinBennett 20 years? But how is it in favor of relatively underdeveloped country they are not the one making big money returns from R&D and they also can not copy the product. $\endgroup$ – EmreAkkoc Nov 19 '19 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ The theory is that a shorter period would prevent companies developing big new projects, because they couldn't make a profit before it was copied, so no one would benefit. The F-35 project started in 1992, so some of their patients will have already expired. $\endgroup$ – Robin Bennett Nov 19 '19 at 13:57
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A few misconceptions:

  • All parties want war to be as unfair as possible, i.e. an easy win. Technological superiority is a big part of that. There's nothing 'moral' about war, and there are definitely no gentlemen's agreements to make it a fair fight. Some people argue that a fair fight leads to a longer war with more casualties, so arguably, it's immoral to have a fair fight.
  • Patents are not "it's impossible to copy X". It means you can sue the person who copies X. To successfully sue someone, you need a functioning legal system, and to sue across borders, you need countries to acknowledge the validity of each others courts. If a country is at war with another, none of that holds.

Patents are a way to protect the economic interests of a company. You cannot win a war with patents.

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    $\begingroup$ Completely agree with first point, However, for the second point : you need military equipments before the war not during the war. In addition, war is not the only point because international politics also affected by direct proportion of their military power against rivals. Not to mention China already stoke TBs of data about F35 project but still couldn't even came close to produce an aircraft in the level of F35 $\endgroup$ – EmreAkkoc Nov 19 '19 at 13:16

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